The long and the short of it means baby gets the first certificate

One of the first certificates you are likely to use in the early days of your family history research is likely to be a birth certificate. You do, however, have to make sure you get the right one because there are two types, the long and the short. The short version is only used asContinue reading “The long and the short of it means baby gets the first certificate”

On home ground for a fleeting visit before we’re on the road again

After eight weeks on tour we arrived at Basildon – home again, for that was the way I had seen it while working on the Standard Recorder, except that now I would not be in my flat at Brooke House, I would be kipping in the caravan behind the Arts Centre. I would, however, beContinue reading “On home ground for a fleeting visit before we’re on the road again”

Six small steps to take you on the journey of a lifetime – or further

WHO AM I? A question many of us will have asked in our lifetime and we will have given ourselves many answers: son, father, socialist; mother, aunt, republican; daughter, teacher, royalist; grandfather, preacher, poet. There may be other roles we do not recognise ourselves playing. On the other hand we may know more about ourContinue reading “Six small steps to take you on the journey of a lifetime – or further”

Longed-for letter boosts my spirits as we catch up with some old friends

As the tour went on it seemed as though every day there was something new, though none of it quite as bad as those few horrific minutes in the cinema when a Polish actress made use of her natural assets to kill a man. As Dickens said: “They were the the best of times; theyContinue reading “Longed-for letter boosts my spirits as we catch up with some old friends”

Who needs Doctor Who’s Tardis when we can all travel in time?

I was watching a Brian Cox programme last night (the professor not the actor), he was talking about time travel and Doctor Who. It was fascinating, not that he was speaking about it becoming feasible any time in the near future, and he talked about travel and time; the bending of time and how timeContinue reading “Who needs Doctor Who’s Tardis when we can all travel in time?”

The road not taken

by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because itContinue reading “The road not taken”

Christmas past and Christmas present, what now lies ahead?

Christmas came and now its gone. All packed away for another year. In many ways Christmas remains the same except gradual changes creep in year on year and my Christmas of 2022 is very different from the early ones I can remember in the 50s. Nowadays we start preparing for Christmas in the New Year,Continue reading “Christmas past and Christmas present, what now lies ahead?”

Horror that followed us from town to town

When I left Basildon at the end of summer 1974 I did not know if I would ever be back. My move from there, initially, to the other side of the country was to create a breathing space, not just for me but also for someone who had become close. Initially my only contact wouldContinue reading “Horror that followed us from town to town”

Teddy Bear

by A A Milne A bear, however hard he tries, Grows tubby without exercise. Our Teddy Bear is short and fat, Which is not to be wondered at; He gets what exercise he can By falling off the ottoman, But generally seems to lack The energy to clamber back. Now tubbiness is just the thingContinue reading “Teddy Bear”

Time to make my final stand as the hedge wars reach their Waterloo

It is time for the war to end. It has gone on too long with casualties on both sides. Now, however, we have reached the point where one side must achieve victory – that will be MY victory. Yes, this year, 11 years after the struggle began, I am determined to have my Waterloo and,Continue reading “Time to make my final stand as the hedge wars reach their Waterloo”